Long-suffering residents of Montauk found themselves faced with an unusual problem over the weekend, and many expressed confusion about how to handle it.
Because of last summer’s experience of out-of-control partying in the hamlet—with its attendant epidemic of public intoxication, public urination, noise complaints and traffic woes—it was decided, with enthusiastic support from residents, that the Hamptons Police Department would step up enforcement. Accordingly, some 60 Hamptons PD officers were stationed in and around Montauk last weekend in what was planned as a “dry run” for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend blitz.
Of course these officers couldn’t just sit around idle, and so they began targeting the motorists and pedestrians who were at hand, finding a surprisingly high number of violations among the year-round inhabitants of the small fishing community.
As Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch explains, “We found a really shocking level of lawlessness among the people out there. This has been a real eye-opener for us.” Police issued some 236 summonses over the course of the weekend, and arrested 17 individuals. Some residents expressed outrage, pointing out that the intention of the stepped-up enforcement was to discourage partiers from outside, not to entangle locals in the criminal justice system.
“I feel like we’ve been tricked,” said one irate Montauker who preferred to remain anonymous. “The idea was to keep the weekenders out, but now they’re trying to destroy our way of life.”
Stay tuned for future developments.